Roofing Terms Made Simple

Are you in the market for a new roof? Unless you’re in the roofing business, prepare to hear a lot of unfamiliar roofing terms. Understanding these terms before you jump into a conversation with a contractor will make you feel a lot better when you decide to sign that contract. Below is an introduction to common roofing terms.


Roofing Styles


By knowing what type of roof you have, you will be able to understand your roofer’s recommendations and the re-roofing process that best suits your home.

A gable roof has two sloping sides and a gable at each end. A gable is the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches.

A hip roof is a type where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. It has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof.

A shed roof refers to a roof that slopes in a single direction and has no hips, ridges, or valleys.

Hip and gable are the two most common roof styles. Some roofs have just one of these styles, while others have several different style elements combined.


Parts of a Roof


Decking is the foundation of your roof. The deck is the base that rests against the rafters of your attic to support the weight of the roofing materials. Most decking is made from plywood. 

Eaves are the edges of the roof that hang over the exterior walls of the house.

Gutters are placed at the edges of eaves. 

Soffits are the underside of eaves.

Ridges are the highest points on the roof where two rooflines intersect. Special shingles are used at roof ridges. Ridge vents should be installed at ridges to allow hot air to escape attic spaces.

Valleys are the low angles formed at the intersection of two sloping roof surfaces. They are one of the first places where water will penetrate in a failing roof. Your roofing contractor will probably recommend installing special underlayment and flashing materials that you won’t see on other parts of the roof.

Ventilation is critical to the longevity of your roof. Ventilation is the flow of air through your attic space. This airflow allows moist, hot air to escape, keeping your roof deck cooler and your home more comfortable.


Roofing Materials


Underlayment is the base layer of your roof that can be found between the roof deck and the shingles. Made of asphalt and a fibrous mat (usually fiberglass or felt), underlayment can be waterproof or water-resistant, depending on the type and quality.

Shingles are the visible roofing material that is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Shingles block UV rays from the sun and prevent water from leaking into your home.

There are many different types of shingle materials, including metal, tile, and slate.

Flashing is a corrosion-resistant metal strip that is installed at roof edges and seams. It prevents the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and joints.


Ready to replace your roof?

When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Learn more about the best roofing materials for your home.

How Long Does Siding On A House Last?

Think of new siding like a facelift for your house. It completely freshens up the exterior of your home, and you want to make sure that investment lasts a really long time.

The good news is: when properly installed and regularly maintained, new siding on a home can last for decades. There are, however, factors that affect the longevity of the siding on your house.



When it comes to siding, proper installation is everything. Even the best siding will not perform correctly if the installation is subpar. That’s why it’s critical to work with the right contractor from the beginning. When you go with a team of siding professionals who have the required experience, certifications, licenses, and insurance, you can trust that your new siding was installed correctly and will perform properly.



Wood is the most demanding, high-maintenance siding material, while aluminum siding tends to show nicks and dings easily and fades over time. Vinyl siding is the most popular and versatile option, and withstands a variety of weather conditions. High-quality, durable, insulated vinyl siding has a longer life span, requires minimal maintenance, and offers excellent performance.


Weather/storm damage

Hot, sunny summers, freeze-thaw cycles in winter, thunder, wind, and hail in the spring, and severe storms in the fall make your home’s siding susceptible to year-round weather attacks that can leave any siding material damaged over the long term. Inspect your siding regularly and handle repairs quickly to avoid further damage.



Where you live can affect the overall performance of your siding. The climate of your city will play a big factor in which kind of siding you should choose for your home. Insulated vinyl is a great choice for areas around St. Louis, because it performs well in the heat and cold and protects against rain, wind, and snow.



Choosing a siding that is low-maintenance can extend the life of your siding and give you the best value for your money. Vinyl siding can go months without needing to be cleaned. To extend its life span even further, power wash your vinyl siding before or after summer.


Maintenance extends beyond your siding. It’s also important to check your gutters regularly. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to spill over the sides of the house and can lead to water damage on the siding. Over time, water can penetrate any cracks in the siding, causing significant deterioration to your home.


Ready to replace your siding?

The longevity of your siding depends on many factors, including how it was installed and the quality of the products. Contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on siding replacement for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Learn more about Absolute Exteriors’ siding options. 

Choosing the Best Roofing Materials

When choosing a new roof for your home, the most important factors to consider are longevity, cost, durability, and energy efficiency of the materials. Following are the six most popular roofing materials – from least expensive and durable to most expensive and durable – to help you choose the right roof for your home.


Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles will last for about 15 to 30 years. They are the most popular roofing material because of their cost effectiveness. When it comes to durability, never choose the cheapest asphalt shingles, even if cost is a major issue for you.

Look for shingles that have a decent hail rating, a good indicator of impact resistance and overall durability. Roofing material manufacturers are not legally required to report their hail rating, so if you don’t see one, don’t buy that brand. Hail rating is particularly important with asphalt shingles, because their quality ranges wildly.


Wooden shingles and shakes

This roofing material – made of fire-resistant woods such as cedar or redwood – should last between 30 and 50 years. While they last longer than asphalt shingles, they are not as durable. Although they are fire resistant (and can be sprayed with fire retardant), they are not fireproof.

Wood shingles and shakes are also prone to cracking, so look for a manufacturer with a good hail rating. When it comes to energy efficiency, wood is a natural insulator and is typically twice as efficient as asphalt shingles.



Metal roofing materials – steel, copper, zinc alloy, or aluminum – will last about 30 to 50 years. While metal roofs are slightly more expensive than asphalt and wood, they are significantly more durable.

Metal roofs are impact resistant and will hold up well in bad weather. Also, they need a lot less maintenance than most roofing materials, and they are very energy efficient. While asphalt shingles tend to hover around the outside temperature (whether high or low), metal roofs act as an insulator. This keeps your home cooler during hot weather and warmer during cold weather.


Plastic Polymer

Plastic polymer roofs will last for 50+ years and are an incredibly durable roofing material. Polymer roofing shingles are created to look like slate or wood shingles, but they require significantly less maintenance.

Plastic polymer roofs have high hail ratings, and they’ll hold up well in bad weather. They are very energy efficient. Plastic roofs, like metal roofs, reflect energy rather than absorb it. This will keep your home cooler during the summer and warmer in the winter.



A roof made from slate can last as long as 75 to 150 years. One of the oldest roofing materials, slate is also one of the most expensive. Slate is extremely durable. It’s both fireproof and nearly indestructible in bad weather.

Professional installation is recommended, because slate tiles can crack under the weight of the average person. Finally, because slate is one of the densest roofing materials on the market, it’s incredibly energy efficient, helping to regulate your home’s internal temperature.


Solar glass

Solar glass roofing should last for the lifetime of your home. Although there are many manufacturers that offer solar panels for your roof, currently, Tesla is the only manufacturer that offers a solar glass roof. This option is fairly expensive to purchase and install. However, you may qualify for a tax credit to offset the cost, and it comes with a lifetime tile warranty.

Energy efficiency of most roofing materials is calculated in terms of how much energy is saved. Solar glass generates its own energy, and is therefore the most sustainable roofing material. In addition, solar glass roofing boasts an extremely high hail rating.


Final thoughts

While choosing the right roofing material is incredibly important, correct installation, literally, can make or break your roof. Absolute Exteriors has 20+ years of experience installing roofs and helping customers in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas choose the best roofing materials for the climate, slope of the roof, style of home, and budget. Give us a call for a free estimate on your roof replacement.

Learn more about bad roofing decisions that you need to avoid.

Bad Roofing Decisions That Can Cost You

When it comes to maintaining our homes, we tend to focus on the things we can see every day, like floors, paint, and appliances. We can tell when they need a good cleaning, a touch up, or when they’re on their last leg. Roofing, however, is a different story.

Most of us don’t consider the condition of the roof until we notice a problem. Your roof and your home are your biggest investments. That’s why every homeowner needs to know how to protect their investments by avoiding common mistakes.


Avoid these common bad roofing decisions:


Why pay a professional when I can do it myself?

We all want to save money on home maintenance and repairs. And there are times when a little elbow grease on your part can save you money without sacrificing (too much) quality.

This is not true with bigger projects like roof installation. Roofing is a complex job that requires professional training. An improperly installed roof can result in damage to your attic, walls, and foundation.

Safety is another consideration. Even seasoned do-it-yourselfers underestimate the danger of taking on a roofing project themselves.

Also, there’s more to a roof than shingles. A roof is made up of several layers that work together as a system to protect your home. Proper installation of each component protects the roof, attic, walls, and foundation from wind, rain, ice, heat, and humidity.


I’m going to go with the company with the cheapest price.

Hiring the lowest bidder for your roof installation is a dangerous move. It may appear to save you money in the short-term but will likely lead to long-term trouble and costly repairs. It’s always less expensive to do things right the first time.

Whether you’re choosing a contractor for repairs or for a complete roof installation, there are some key questions to ask. Any reputable roofing company should be willing to answer your questions in detail and in a professional manner. Read more about choosing a roofing contractor.


My roof is showing some signs of damage, but I think I can squeeze out a few more years.

Depending on the type of roofing materials, you will need to replace it at some point. Delaying replacement of an old roof can cost you more money in the end. Waiting until you see obvious signs that it is in need of repair – water stains, sagging attic ceiling – is not necessarily going to save you money. In fact, the damage it may cause to your home can cost you big bucks. It’s always a good idea to get regular inspections.


I don’t clean the gutters that often. What harm can it really do? 

While you probably know that you shouldn’t let your gutters get clogged, you may not know why. Clogged gutters can cause a lot of damage to your roof, attic, and foundation.

If water gets behind your gutters, it can rot out your fascia boards. This puts your gutters at risk of collapse and also provides an opening for animals and more water to find its way into your roof. Clogged gutters can damage your foundation by allowing water to enter your basement or crawl space, which can lead to mold and other water damage. In winter, the water can freeze and actually crack your foundation.


Take action

Avoid these common bad roofing decisions by calling Absolute Exteriors in Ellisville, Mo., for a free, no obligation inspection. Delaying getting your roof fixed can lead to long-term damage, not only to the roof, but also inside and outside the home.


How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

A roof is one of the most important parts of your property. Keeping it in the best condition possible is important for the protection of your home and everything you own inside your home.


It can be a daunting task to choose a roofing contractor in Ellisville or Ballwin, but when you are ready to replace an old roof, build a new roof, or repair defects in your existing roof, follow these steps to select a qualified roofer.


1) Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax identification number and where applicable, a business license.


2) Don’t hesitate to ask a roofing contractor for proof of insurance. In fact, insist on seeing copies of his liability coverage and workers’ compensation certificates. Make sure the coverage is in effect through the duration of the job. If a contractor is not properly insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property.


3) Look for a company with a good reputation that offers client references and a list of completed projects. Call these clients to find out whether they were satisfied. You also can check with the local BBB to make sure the company is in good standing.


4) Insist on a detailed, written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.


5) Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge of your project, how many workers will be required and estimated completion time.


6) Contact the Better Business Bureau to check for possible complaints filed against the contractor.


7) Carefully read and understand any roofing warranties offered, and watch for provisions that would void it.


8) Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors’ below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism, experience, and quality workmanship should weigh heavily in your decision, because these qualities do not come cheap.


At Absolute Exteriors, we meet or exceed all of these requirements and look forward to working with you on your roofing project. We are hardworking, honest, reliable, and provide affordable roofing solutions. Give us a call today.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Roof

St. Louis is known for severe weather and extreme temperature swings, from below freezing to heat above 100 degrees. These punishing conditions can cause serious damage to your roof. This is why it is so important to get regular inspections. They can ensure that your roof is in good condition and free from anything that can cause further damage.


Here are some of the things you can do to protect your roof:

Keep branches away

Trees should be located at least six feet away from your house. Branches that hang over your roof can scratch its surface. This removes shingle granules and weakens the integrity, which can lead to a leak.

Even if tree branches are not in direct contact with your roofing surface, leaves and other debris can accumulate on the roof. When it rains, these materials can end up in your gutter system and disrupt proper drainage.

Clean your gutters

If possible, install gutter shields to prevent clogged gutters. If this isn’t possible, inspect your gutters every now and then, especially after a storm. Blocked or broken gutters can cause water to flow under roofing shingles and cause additional damage to your home.


Resolve leaks immediately

Once water gets into your home, problems will escalate. Water weakens your property’s foundation and causes mold growth. Moist environments also attract pests and wet wiring can start a fire.

As a homeowner, you can spot water stains on your ceiling or walls and know that your roof is leaking. Even if you don’t see any water damage, it’s always a good idea to schedule regular inspections by a professional roofer.

Inspect your roof following a severe storm

You’ll be able to spot obvious signs of damage like holes and missing shingles. However, more subtle signs of damage like missing shingle granules and small dents may be harder to see. It’s always best to have a professional inspect your roof after severe weather.

Final Thoughts

If you need help when it comes to roofing protection from bad weather, Absolute Exteriors employees are experts in identifying roof damage and processing insurance claims in Ellisville, Chesterfield, and Ballwin. Give us a call for a free estimate on your roof repair or roof replacement.

Need more? Here are some bad roofing decisions that you might want to avoid.

Signs of Hail Damage to Your Home’s Roof

It’s storm season, and although most hailstorms are relatively short, their effects can be long lasting. It’s often easy to spot damage caused to fences, cars, garage doors, and other items on the ground, but how do you know if your roof needs to be fixed?


Here are some indications that your roof has hail damage.


Asphalt granules in the gutter

This is one of the biggest signs of severe hail damage. Chunks of hail can knock loose the asphalt in your shingles, which then run down into your gutters. Missing granules leave your roof exposed to the elements, which results in leaks when it rains or snows. If you have wood shingles, you may find splinters or shards of wood in your gutters.


Shingle bruising

Bruising causes a soft spot on the shingle that feels like the bruise on an apple – the larger the hail, the larger the depression. If the dimples have any kind of give when you press on them, your shingles may be starting to decay.


Circular cracks

When hailstorms are extremely strong and break through the granules, they can leave behind circular cracks. These cracks will allow water to seep through your shingles to the under layers of your roof. Vertical or horizontal cracks occur from normal wear to your roof.


Other damaged areas

An easy way to check for bad hail damage is to look at what else was affected by the storm. If your fence has holes, your gutters are bent, or your A/C unit is dented, then your roof needs to be inspected.


Take action

The first step is to call Absolute Exteriors in Ellisville, Mo., for a free, no obligation inspection. Absolute will work with your insurance company to make the repair process as painless as possible. Delaying getting your roof fixed can lead to long-term damage, not only to the roof, but also inside and outside the home.

Learn more about storm damage.